Court Battles

Supreme Court won't hear inmate's appeal over denial of sex reassignment procedure

The Supreme Court on has left in place an appeals court ruling denying a Texas prisoner's efforts to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

The court on Monday chose not to hear Vanessa Lynn Gibson's appeal of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. Gibson, formerly known as Scott Gibson, suffers from gender dysphoria and was denied a request to be evaluated for a sex reassignment procedure, according to court filings.

Gibson appealed the Fifth Circuit's conclusion, arguing that its denial of her request for the surgery violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Gibson was convicted of robbing a convenience store in 1994. While in prison, she was also convicted of killing another inmate and assaulting a corrections officer.

Prison officials allowed her to undergo hormone therapy, but denied her request for the sexual reassignment procedure.

Her lawyers said in filings with the Supreme Court that her gender dysphoria is life threatening, adding that she's attempted suicide three times and has harmed herself repeatedly in part because of her belief that she's a woman trapped in a man's body.

The Supreme Court did not leave any comment on its decision not to hear Gibson's case.